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Canada Aviation Museum gets a new name and a facelift.

The Canada Aviation Museum has been looking for change lately, and has begun with a change of name.

The museum officially changed its name to the Canada Aviation and Space Museum on May 12th to further incorporate the history of flight. This change of name is the result of a new partnership between the Canada Science and Technology Museum Corporation (which also includes the Canada Agriculture Museum and the Canada Science and Technology Museum) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). Though the CSA will remain a separate entity, it will assist the Canada Aviation and Space Museum to broaden its exhibits and include more information on manned space flights to further incorporate the history of air travel.

To start this off, astronaut Dr. Robert Thirsk (pictured above, training in a Soyuz Capsule simulator) stopped by to help the museum unveil the first phase of the From Air to Space exhibit on Canadian astronauts, which features many different space-related artefacts. Dr. Thirsk holds the Canadian records for the longest space flight (187 days 20 hours) and the most time spent in space (204 days 18 hours).

This expansion's cost is projected at $7 million and will include a new foyer, a 300-seat auditorium, three classrooms, cafeteria and retail space. The renovation should be completed by next February. The front part of the building, which is currently in the process of being built, will have two more exhibitions (on energy and space programming) as well as provide a venue to host space camps for kids. Astronauts, engineers, scientists and others will use the new auditorium for special educational presentations.

The change is quite a relief for Stephen Quick, director general of the museum, who said it felt like there had been a "missing piece" to the museum. "I would go to meet up with other museum directors and they all had a space component to their aviation and space museums."

This prompted Quick to think about integrating space flight into the museum. "It's been a couple months now in the works," Quick said. The entire process ended up taking about three months to get it approved. "We had to bring it to the minister and the Treasure Board" for approval.

"We're planning on bringing our space [displays] and integrating them with the rest of the museum." This will include models of the first airplanes built as well as old war planes.

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Author:MacKinnon, Brenna
Publication:Esprit de Corps
Date:Jun 1, 2010
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